Back in 2015, I created this "EpicQuest4Crafts" website and related social media accounts to share the zillion craft hobbies I loved to do in my spare time.
And just like my website (Seriously, check out what it looked like back in 2016!) I have also changed a lot since then. Even with my arts and hobbies.
For a long time, I had a demanding work-life, to where I could only occasionally chase a craft project here and there. But when I did get into a craft, it was a near-obsessive maniacal crafting-until-2-A.M. I would do that for a month or two, then find something ELSE at the craft store that piqued my interest, and move on to that new project.
As you can see from the following pictures, I explored pottery-painting, jewelry-making, macrame, vinyl designs, cosplay, rock painting, fiber art, interior design and perler beads (with a lot of those projects crossing over into video games/nerdiness)
And these were all super fun to do for sure, and given an extra weekend, I'd love to spend time doing these all over again! With most of these, I still take on the occasional commission from a local friend or family member.
But after a few years of jumping from craft to craft, I started to ask myself "What is my purpose with these... what is my endgame with how I'm spending my free time??"
"Could I see myself doing this same thing over and over for the next 5 years?"
"Do I want to turn this specific craft into a revenue-generating project?"
And for all of these, my answer was a pretty immediate "No. I do not want to do this and only this for the next 5 years."
But you know what I could do, and have done for the next 5, 10, 15+ years?
Painting and Photography.
I've been doing painting and photography since I could hold a camera/paintbrush, and both those things still bring me the same joy today as they did 10 years ago.
And especially with transitioning to a part-time job to specifically have more time to do art, I've realized that I want to get more serious with how I spend my art-time.
And I'm gonna get real here for a minute.
I realized one reason I loved doing a million crafts, is I loved the beginning phase, where you're just picking it up and learning the basics... it's all very "easy" and low-effort.
But after a month or two, once you've mastered the basics, you have to start slogging through the difficult parts, to start putting in real time to see any more significant improvement.
And it's always been at that stage of a craft that I abandon it for something new and shiny.
I'm a recovering perfectionist, and I absolutely HATE failing. And sometimes I take really drastic measures to avoid the chance of failure (such as abandoning the craft entirely and starting a new one!)
And deciding to stick with one specific art has made me have to face these fears, and work through that "ugly middle" of developing an art skill or craft.
And it hasn't been easy! I've wanted to quit a bunch of times (and oftentimes I do quit for the day to tell myself "I'll just try again tomorrow.")
There's definitely been a lot of pain behind the gain!
But realizing that me switching from craft to craft as a safety net to avoid failure was another loud sign I was spending my time on the wrong things just for the sake of staying comfortable.
And I knew I needed to leave my comfort zone if I ever wanted my art to ever become anything more than a weekend hobby.
So for the last year or two, I've focused more on painting and photography. And with that focus, I've taken on some more exciting projects:
I finally became an OVAC Member and have a gallery page on there.
I painted something for the 5x5 Art Show and Sale that is this Thursday, May 6
(I shared the painting I did for that in the last blog post!)
But more exciting is a piece I'm doing for an upcoming exhibition featuring 50 artists from 50 states.
As these new opportunities have been appearing, I realized that the moniker "EpicQuests4Crafts" applied less and less to the art that I make today. And I sat on that knowledge for a year or two, but with starting a new month, figured this was as good a time as any to finally make the big change.
So now going forward, I am retiring "EpicQuests4Crafts" and will now simply be "LJ Rucker" or "LJRuckerArt." and while epicquests4crafts.com will still take you here, the main website domain is now ljrucker.com, or ljruckerart.com.
(For those that don't know, LJ was my nickname before I got married, but my husband, friends and family all still call me that, and I loved the idea of combining my old and new names into one)
So now when you go to my Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook (as soon as Facebook approves the name change!) that is what you will see now.
EpicQuests4Crafts will always hold a special place in my heart, but I'm also really excited for this name change and what it represents for my art and life going forward!
Thanks for reading!!